Cherokee Nation Likely to Receive License for Pope County Casino

For months, lawmakers in Oklahoma have been looking to award a new casino license in Pope County. The state has approved a measure to allow a gambling venue. Now, it’s looking for the best possible applicant to run this venue. This week, a consultant company offered it’s opinion on the best tribe to operate the Pope County casino.State Map Of Oklahoma

Many are excited to see this new gambling venue be constructed. Now is the perfect time to look at which group is the most likely to run this property. We’ll also take a look at how some of the other casinos in Oklahoma are doing right now.

Let’s get into it!

Oklahoma’s Casino Industry Remains Open

Many are surprised to hear that Oklahoma has one of the largest casino industries in the United States. Since the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed in the late 80s, Native American tribes in the state have been able to operate Class III casinos here. Today, there are more than 100 casinos operating in the state.

In March, all of these gambling venues shut down. The new coronavirus had begun to spread throughout the US and casino companies began to close their venues as a precaution. It immediately became clear how many local economies rely on the state’s gambling industry.

Local residents started calling for these casinos to reopen. Rates of Covid-19 remained low in Oklahoma and as time went on, more tribes began opening their casinos to the public. Today, most of the gaming properties here are now up and running.

For months, state officials have been looking at proposals to open a new casino in Pope County. Many tribes believe this area is in need of a casino. State leaders recognize how important revenue is right now and have gotten on board with the idea.

Many different tribes have submitted proposals to operate the new Pope County casino. It’s still unclear which will be chosen. This week, a major consultant company based in Arizona offers its opinion on the matter.

Consultant Chooses Cherokee Nation to Operate the Pope County Casino

If the analysts are correct, the new gambling venue set to open in Pope County will be hugely successful. Obviously, different gaming groups in the state are interested to see who gains approval to run this property. We might be close to knowing who that is.

The Oklahoma Racing Commission is trying to decide who should gain the license to operate the new Pope County Casino. It’s reached out to consultants to help make the decision. One major consultant company based in Arizona recently gave its opinion that the Cherokee Nation’s proposal is the best.

It’s interesting news. Initially, it seemed likely that the Racing Commission would award the casino license to a company based in Mississippi. This regulatory body will meet next week to discuss the best way to award this license.

Dustin McDaniel, an attorney for Cherokee Nation Businesses, released a statement on the matter to the media this week.

“It is unfortunate that the Commissioners didn’t have the benefit of access to this report prior to awarding scores to each applicant on June 18, but we will offer it as part of the record and hope that it is helpful when the Commission meets next,” he said. 

It’s interesting to see the Arizona consultant company endorse the Cherokee Nation’s proposal. That doesn’t mean this group is guaranteed to receive the license. We’ll need to wait and see how things play out over the next few weeks.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Still Working on Sports Betting Regulations

A huge number of states around the country now have legal, regulated sports betting operations up and running. This is proving to be an incredibly lucrative industry. Many states are earning millions of dollars every month via taxes from their regulated sportsbooks.

Oklahoma has taken its time embracing this industry. Lawmakers seemed unwilling to approve any legislation to regulate sports gambling. Native American tribes and state government officials continued to negotiate over tax rates and where sports betting would be allowed.

Finally, in June, Governor Kevin Stitt approved two new gaming compacts that allow sports betting in-person at certain casinos. For now, online sports betting is not being approved here. It’s still unclear when the first sportsbooks will officially launch here.

Many lawmakers in the state have opposed this decision. Even the state attorney general has voiced his disapproval with sports betting regulation. It’s unusual when considering how large Oklahoma’s gambling industry already is.

In time, it seems likely that Oklahoma decides to regulate online sports gambling. With casino revenue down, sports betting may prove to be hugely valuable to the state. No one knows when casinos will return to the way they were in 2019.

Which group do you think will be approved to operate the Pope County Casino? Let us know in the comments section below!